Lugarno couple Megan and Gavin Rosser are encouraging other families to consider fostering as part of Foster Care Week.
The pair have been foster parents for the past four years and Mrs Rosser said it has been a pleasure to see children grow and change under their care.
“We have had six short term placements during the past four years. The shortest stay has been respite care for 11 days and the longest stay has been for about nine months. All have come to us as babies,’’ she said.
“The best thing about being a foster carer is to see these little babies grow. It’s been lovely to see their first smile and to see them reach their milestones. A couple of the children had rocky starts, but it has been very rewarding to see them grow and smile.”
She said fostering has given them many positive experiences.
“These kids also bring out a lot of good in people. We’ve had people in our immediate community, whether it’s through church or the local area, looking out for these children, asking how they are and some have even given us gifts for them,” she said.
“Foster caring also teaches our own kids to share what they have. It’s not only about sharing material possessions; more importantly it’s about sharing a family and the love that we have for each other.”
Mr Rosser said connecting with the babies means saying goodbye is even harder.
“The worst part of being a foster parent is when they leave,” he said.
“We’ve been asked why we do this when it’s so painful to say goodbye, and it is painful. But as Meg tells our kids, these children needed us. We’ll be OK, but these children wouldn’t have been OK if they didn’t have us. They needed a safe home.”
During Foster Care Week from September 11-17 Anglicare, along with other community groups, is urging people to become foster carers.
Anglicare Executive Manager of Out of Home Care Services Jackie Palmer said in NSW alone more than 18,000 children are in need of families.
“The most recent figures from the AIHW reveal that there were 26,215 substantiated reports of children harmed or at risk of harm from abuse and neglect during 2013 to 2014 in NSW,’’ she said.
‘’The national total during 2013 to 2014 was 54,438 substantiated reports.’’
To find out more about becoming a foster carer through Anglicare’s Out-of-Home-Care program contact 02 9890 6800.